Is it possible to protect software from piracy?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by ModernLogic, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. ModernLogic
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    ModernLogic Rookie

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    with the advent of higher internet speeds and more efficient data transfer formats like bit torrents, piracy is very much rampant. i have to admit, even my copy of matlab is pirated... but i am a poor student who cannot afford $200 for software. :eusa_whistle:

    anyway, do any computer wizards know if it is possible to protect software from piracy?

    can data encryption used by internet protocols also be used by software to protect itself from piracy?
     
  2. KittenKoder
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    KittenKoder Senior Member

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    In reality ... no. It's not possible. When you decompile code the security that checks if it's a pirated copy is easy to bypass if it's one where you enter a serial number. Also, almost all serial numbers get published somewhere for free. Though it's illegal, nothing will ever stop it, and yes, I am all for giving in and publishing programs as open source or freeware, just charge for the media copies (the hard copies). A good programmer will still make money setting up networks and designing specific apps for companies, all the rest are not really good programmers anyway since they rely too heavily on using other code anyway. Adobe is one of the biggest that really should be all open source, every library they use for graphics and audio are all open source, even GIF now since Compuserver got that smack on the wrist. However, MS has found a way to prevent piracy of their Windoze, though this also restricts a lot of users so they dropped it. They used the IP's of the users and registered them with the Windoze, but after too many complaints they had to stop that practice and instead do a lock out after three (I think) installs for XP or Vista with the same number on the same machine (though there are even more ways around this). So again, it's impossible to prevent pirating, even multimedia gets pirated and with the gray areas in using it in your own creations many have given up finally (evidence on Youtube).
     
  3. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    MS drove me away with the 3 strikes. Okay I admit, I fiddle with the computer and I regularly break things. Reinstall right? Nope. I had to ring someone in a call centre somewhere and swear under pain of having boiling oil thrown on me that I wasn't using my legit copy of XP on a second computer (oh the horror!). I got sick of doing that too. So I tried a cd I had of TurboLinux. That didn't work but then I happened to be at the newsagent stooging around and saw a computer magazine with Fedore Core 3.0 I think it was. So I tried it. Worked beautifully. Didn't look back.

    I can't give a techie view but KK's points, although over my head, seem to me to make sense intuitively. And just on that, not that I know much about FOSS but might it be the case that as Open Source takes hold (the French Gendarmerie Nationale have migrated, or are about to migrate to Ubuntu, for example) a new business model might have to be found? I think KK may have implied that - either that or I'm reading something that isn't there, but I wonder. I mean there are already some Linux distros that let you have the os but then charge for support already - I think Xandros might operate along those lines and that's a lovely looking distro.


    Anyway ML just think - FreeMat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - no piracy worries! (And it apparently works on Windows too....)
     
  4. KittenKoder
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    KittenKoder Senior Member

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    It's an odd thing, many major companies that produce Windoze software actually run Ubuntu now, even Google (it's their standard OS). I love it when a trend explodes like this. I have installed and set up Ubuntu for three user level computers as well, haven't had to trouble shoot or anything for them and the companies love how they can just find what they need when they need it through Synaptic, and not have to pay extra for them. So Open Source will most likely take over the market, people will start paying for things like graphical models, images, and audio instead of the program. Makes it easier to get a profit right off the bat, then after there are enough copies out their pirated you just have to make more new stuff that no one has yet to keep making a profit. But again, those of us who can set up the networks and terminals will always have a job as long as we're good. With networking the largest field in computers it's more profitable anyway.
     
  5. pegwinn
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    pegwinn Top of the Food Chain

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    Back in the day (anyone remember dos or pre-dos) I knew what was what. Now, I am more an educated layman (spelled cha-ching for computer pros) who finally got rid of MS Office in Favor of OpenOffice.org

    When it's time to buy a new machine I am thinking of Linux. But learning a whole new OS is daunting. MS is like the Mickey D's of computers nowadays..... not a good burger.
     
  6. KittenKoder
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    KittenKoder Senior Member

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    A very good analogy, McD's of computers, I like that and it matches very well.

    I LOVE Open Office. Oddly I found it while looking for a quick and easy way to make PDF's a long time ago without paying Adobe's prices or writing my own, after finding out what OO could do I completely switched. It can handle all MS documents files and Mac files, also a database, spreadsheet, presentation, and a few others I am too sleepy to remember this moment. Being open source also allows me to write code for it, and best of all it's Java! LOL OO just rules.
     
  7. Shogun
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    one word:

    Dongle.


    with the advent of the USB port there is no reason for hard copies not to include a verification dongle. And I pirate the fuck out of apps. Who the fuck wants to pay that much for neat adobe products? I did start buying my OS's after a crash and burn scenerio using a ripped copy of XP. However, my ripped copy of 98 lasted years and years.
     
  8. KittenKoder
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    Even that can be pirated successfully. If it can be done in computer data it can be modified, as long as the person doing it knows what they are doing. Adobe sucks anyway, everything Adobe can do I have found something else that can do it better, but if you like it cool, you are right that paying for it is stupidity, especially as much as they charge. Linux even has open source Flash plugins now. LOL Adobe is going to get desperate soon as their one strangle hold on their media is shattered.
     
  9. Shogun
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    yea.. but think of how dongles would narrow the scope of piracy. Sure, coders and techies can figure out a solution but your average end user that currently loves bittorrent won't be able to create a fake dongle verification solution. In this day and age i'm not quite sure why at least that strategy isn't used for the higher end apps. It's essentially a hardware version of the last XP used in validating copies.

    The last adobe product I was toying with was premier. I went through a video editing tangent last summer. 'Twas trying to recreate the star wars scrawl and other layered fun for adding lightsabers and blasts and shit like that.


    I would post the result but it would be easy to see my other videos and i'd rather avoid that kind of attention from some of the sick bastards permeating the forum these days.
     
  10. KittenKoder
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    The problem is that it's not the users who create the pirates, it is the developers and coders like me, so nothing is safe. With a simple decompiler and knowledge in machine languages, even a dongle can be bypassed allowing anyone to use it. The XP pirates are just not popular since most people who have too many problems with XP switch to Linux (Ubuntu) eventually anyway, and Ubuntu is open source and freeware so no need to pirate that. For video try Open Movie Editor, you may need a few additions to do what you are saying but the core is easy to use and of course Open Source (I think there is a Windoze port for it somewhere). I don't do much video myself but tinkered with it a bit and the learning curve is one that almost anyone could adapt to.

    Most software publishers are realizing that pirating is impossible to avoid, so they are just giving up. Instead they just require registration for support, which makes an even better profit since people are still reluctant to ask the community (sadly but oh well).
     

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